Red Cross Blood Drive

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. On May 7, we held a Blood Drive to help supply blood for anyone in need. Several of our donors were not church members but folks from the community who found us online.

I have been a donor several times over my lifetime. The opportunity presented itself and it was so easy to give. I want to help others. – Barbara Marquette, oldest donor.

I was nervous at first, but soon discovered that by giving blood, I would be helping more people in this short time than I could normally help in a week or a month. I have a “bleeding heart” and want to help everyone I see! My Mom and I gave blood together.  – John White, 1st time donor

Stats:

  • 48 people attempted to give
  • 5 were deferred and 1 unable to complete donation
  • 34 successfully donated one unit
  • 3 successfully donated power red (2 units of red blood cells)
  • 41 units were collected
  • 38 donors used the online Rapid Pass to save time checking in our final donor of the drive, Filomena Baer, from Shadowlawn, donated her one hundredth pint!

Easter Egg-stravaganza

On March 31, The Children’s Ministry held our first Easter Egg-stravaganza at Redwing park. This was an Easter Egg Hunt and Potluck where parents could mingle and the kids could play and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

 

Thank you to all our volunteers! We had the most wonderful potluck food brought—including beautiful festive cakes! About 125 adults and children attended including 20 families from our Seaside School! Over 3,000 eggs were filled with sweet treats, faith based trinkets, and festive trinkets (like finger puppets). Special eggs had a prize to redeem that included Resurrection board books, stuffed ‘Prayer Bears,’ Easter footballs, and glow in the dark crosses. Although it was a little windy and chilly, the kids had fun on the playground, playing ‘Love God’ ring toss, drawing with chalk, and hunting for hidden eggs that reminded us of the surprise of Jesus and the tomb! A Catholic friend of ours from another church came with her son and her mother. She observed one of the kids come up to me and gave me a little Hershey Kiss, and she remarked, “Wow, you really are surrounded by a great group of people! These kids and families show so much love.” It made my heart so full. We had families with several generations come and that also made my heart so full for all of us to be making such great memories together!

– Crystal Colohan, Director of Children’s Ministries.

 

I attended the Easter celebration, which was a Christian mom’s dream come true on Holy Saturday to celebrate Jesus, the miracle of Easter and be surrounded by our church family. It was the best day full of hugs, games, and fellowship for our kids. The kids were so proud of their treasured crucifix necklaces they had in their eggs and the new discoveries they made. The day laid out an exciting and beautiful preparation for His coming and the miracle of the resurrection.

– Jenny Davis

 

I want to share God’s love with my children and making Jesus part of the celebration is the best way to model this.  I am thankful for our church because it builds a community of people willing to build these values.

– Dawn Adams

 

 

 

Becoming a Member of Virginia Beach United Methodist 

Sunday Worship

Today, after 12 years (don’t rush into anything, folks), I became a member at Virginia Beach United Methodist Church. It’s strange how quickly time can escape you. I remember my first Sunday like it was yesterday, sitting next to Jared Otto at the 9:30am service with the great Bob Johnson in front of us. Bob turned around and gave us a thumbs up on our shirt and tie ensembles (I told Jared we had to wear suits) and warmly introduced himself.

For a kid who spent his whole life in a Catholic church, it was a whole new experience. The music was warmer, the mood was more relaxed, there was a whole lot less up and down (Catholics know what I mean), and those sermons could inspire you to do anything, so I kept coming back. 

Since then, some people have left, some people have joined, some tragedy has struck, some heartbreak has happened, and some decisions have been tough, but perseverance has always stood strong and we’ve always moved forward. 

I’m thankful for all the people who’ve reached out to that random, tall, skinny, awkward, annoying, yellow toothed kid from New Jersey who showed up with Jared that day and then kept coming back by himself year after year, and for those same people that showed him God’s love and a beautiful Christian faith. 

The space inside the walls of this church was the first place I truly ever felt comfortable worshiping our God. 

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

I wish everyone could have an opportunity to reflect on their time at their church like I did today. Don’t forget to slow down and take a picture or two along your journey. Maybe we should have a 12 year waiting period for new members. 

It was nice, today, seeing so many people celebrate this journey with me, and it touched my heart that my old friend Jared could be there too. 

Philippians 4:13 “For I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.”

I’m proud of the work we’ve done in our effort together to glorify our loving God. 

Thank you all. @ Virginia Beach United Methodist

-Tim Golden, from his Sunday, May 6 Facebook post

Finding Joy When Life is Hard

During our 40-Day Joy Challenge this Lent, we had the most involvement of any church-wide study we have done in the past few years. “The Joy group has been an amazing outlet for me to communicate with other parents and share stories about things we are experiencing with our children. Being able to read the devotional and then apply it to my life has been life changing for me.” — Kristin Sheely. “40 Days not only gives us Paul’s recipe for the Joyful Life that Christ promises to all of us but the author, Tommy Newberry, provides us with the roadmap for “training our brains” to take on a more heavenly perspective in every aspect of our lives and, particularly, difficult and challenging times. Each lesson has brought meaningful discussion in our class about God’s joyful plan for all of us. We have literally run out of time each week as we delve into this more God-centered way of thinking.” – Aldersgate Class

Highlights include:

  • 475 Joy devotional books distributed
  • 2916 Joy page views on the website; 968 are from new folks (more than any other pages on our website other than homepage)
  • 834 visits to the Joy series Sermon Weekly Guide on the Mobile App (one mobile app user is in the Caribbean, and one is in China!)
  • 7 new Joy Small Groups (some of these are unique formations such as: a mom and her 3 adult daughters, a facebook group, visitors from Maryland who are listening to the sermons and watching the videos with their family)
  • Many new folks joined existing Life Groups and Sunday School classes to participate in the Joy Group discussion questions (one Sunday School class has had 8 new folks in 2 weeks; the High School Joy Group had 22 in attendance one Sunday)
  • 3 of the Joy Groups are continuing to meet and are now discussing the James sermon series!

 

Most families will agree that today there is a bigger emphasis on running around and getting things done than there is on making time to connect with others. Thanks to our recent church-wide study based on Tommy Newberry’s 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life, some in our church family are working to change that situation. Several members opted to participate individually in the study while others chose to organize a group to share the experience. One such group is the one that Rebecca and Karl Boggs were a part of. Sometimes feeling that their spiritual journeys were like solo endeavors, Rebecca acknowledged that they “needed something more, another outlet with more consistency and more accountability.”

Most of the group members already knew each other before the class began, and Rebecca adds that it was “nice to be part of a team whose members were in the same phase of life or stage of parenting.” In other words, they were searching for the energy of relationships to provide inspiration and motivation. Rebecca liked the format of the class: read, discuss, and then watch the video to usher in the next week’s discussion. She also praised the church staff for encouraging everyone to get involved and the pastors for providing continuity between the lessons and their sermons.

As the 40-day study drew to a close, participants agreed that they had benefited from the course and wanted to continue on their spiritual journey together. Now they meet on Sunday evenings when their youngsters are in Crew meetings. However, they have made one small addition: a little fellowship time at the beginning of the meeting to compare notes on how their life journeys are unfolding.    

Dee Swanson